Why on earth would you want to do this?
Most of the stories we read unspool through time but remain in a fixed location – a book, a computer screen, a Kindle. Geonarrative allows stories to unfold not just in time but in space. How much does geography affect narrative? Who owns a text? What happens to your sense of story when you have to actively seek it out instead of passively receive it? Geonarrative allows us all to explore these questions, and many more. One thing I adore about geocaching is this sense that there’s been a hidden world all around you, just feet and yards and miles from where you sit, amazing treasure hunts almost everywhere you go. Combine that with story? Swoon. For more thoughts about this, please feel free to visit my blogsite: http://geonarrative.blogspot.com/
Do you have any Geonarratives written?
The first one, “What the Heck Happened to Ashleigh and Mike?” is the story of the mysterious breakup of a couple that have been together since high school. It’s written, and ready to be “installed” at various locations around the historic LeClaire District in Edwardsville, Illinois. Each fragment can be read as a stand-alone flash fiction, and each of those flashes is also written to “resonate” or “rhyme” with the geographical location. So the story can be read in almost any order, but once the whole story is unearthed, a clearer narrative emerges. I also have an excellent idea for a narrative that will be “installed” around the arch in St. Louis. And actually, I supermuch like that Kenyon essay! Won’t you help make these things happen? After that? I’m hoping the patrons I find at Kickstarter and other interested readers will help me determine story locations or narrative elements so that this can become an even more collaborative writing project.
Why should I be part of this project?
What I need most of all is to access the Internet in the middle of a cornfield, or on a glacier, or in your backyard. That will require a device like an iPhone, and a year’s worth of 3G or 4G Internet access. If I raise enough money, my projects can get ambitious – the only thing limiting the scope and sweep of these narratives is my ability to travel and my ability to access the Internet wherever I travel. As an incentive, I’m also intrigued by the idea of including Kickstarter paricipants as characters in narratives, or including the locations of their choosing as literal plot points. That’s why I turned to Kickstarter – because as much as possible, I’d like the Geonarrative Project to be inclusive, shaped as much by readers and participants as by the author.
How can I learn more about geocaching?
Check this out, and prepare to be dazzled by a hidden world suddenly unfolding all around you: http://www.geocaching.com/
Who are you?
Just a boy with a dream, who’s written two conventional books (a novel called Write Your Heart Out: Advice from the Moon Winx Motel, published by Small Mouth Press, and a story collection called Out of Time, a Katherine Anne Porter prize-winner published by UNT Press) and a bunch of stories, poems, and essays that have appeared in journals like Fiction, The Gettysburg Review, the Chicago Tribune Book Review, Crab Orchard Review, the Massachusetts Review, mudluscious, Sweet, and elsewhere. Just a boy with a dream and a bunch of stories he’d like to hide backyards and rooftops across America and – who knows? - maybe the world.
Risks and challenges
There is always a risk when playing with new technology that the learning curve will be steeper than anticipated. Luckily, I'm surrounded by tech-savvy friends and writers who are also intrigued by this idea.
The challenge for me as a writer is to craft fiction that moves well beyond the technology, that seamlessly combines the unusual delivery with a content that resonates. But I've spent my whole life writing stories that don't neatly fit into little boxes, so I think I'm up for the challenge!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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